Irving Pressley McPhail, president of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, has died from coronavirus-related complications, just months after taking the helm.
McPhail, who died Oct. 14, had been named the historically Black institution’s 12th president in July.
“In the short time he was the university’s chief executive officer, he made a memorable and positive impact in moving the university in the direction of being a ‘Learning Centered’ campus,” the university’s board of trustees said in a statement.
Raised in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, McPhail earned a bachelor’s degree in rural sociology at Cornell University and a master’s degree in reading at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He earned a doctorate in reading/language arts at the University of Pennsylvania.
McPhail also served as university provost at Pace University in New York, vice president and dean of academic affairs at Delaware State University and chief operating officer at the Baltimore City Public Schools.
Maria Lumpkin is serving as Saint Augustine’s interim president.